SEO and social media can seem so mysterious as it relates to content marketing, but it is quite simple.
We hear the term SEO and are minds might flash to a guy with a black hoodie on, typing lots of mysterious code into the backend of our website. When we hear the term social media we think of teenagers posting selfies on Instagram or our Aunt Ruth sharing embarrassing photos of our kids from years gone by.
The reality is SEO and social media are necessary marketing tools and thankfully they are a lot less mysterious than you may think. Today many use the term “content marketing” when talking about SEO, and that can encompass blogging, social media posts, rich website copy, all written with the intent to draw your ideal customer in through search. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is simply optimizing your web and social content with words and phrases that Google, Bing, and other search engines are looking for.
Let’s look at a few examples of how this works:
When Kevin asks Google, “Do I need to send in my 1099 forms with my tax return?” Google is going to search for a piece of content that will answer this question the best. What if a tax preparation service company had a blog post titled, “Do you need to send 1099 forms in with your tax return?” Kevin would be clicking over to that website in a matter of moments. Now Kevin is reading more helpful content on their website and sees a 20% discount code on the homepage for getting his tax returns done by a pro.
Let’s say that Robert looks in the mirror and notices his hair is getting a big shaggy. He asks SIRI, “What are the most popular hairstyles for middle-aged men?” He might be served up a video that is posted on Facebook from his local hip hair-stylist showing before and after shots of middle-aged men going from NOT to HOT! (I'm sure it had something in the video about pitching the preppy sweater as well!) In the post, he notices this hip stylist is nearby and so he clicks on the CALL NOW button that is on the Facebook page and books an appointment.
When Carli searches for “Exercises to get ready for spring gardening,” she will find a Pinterest post showing photos of different stretches and exercises to “Get Your Body Ready for Gardening” This piece of content was created by the fitness studio in her neighborhood. She loves the exercises listed, and at the bottom, it has a coupon for 10 FREE days to come in and get a jump start on the spring workout. Guess where Carli’s going?
The more closely the content matches the question, the higher in search results it will be. It’s not about gaming the Google system. It’s not even about paying to have your site show up in the top AD space. Most people skip those first few ads and jump to the meaty content that is showing up organically (naturally or earned). Content that is created specifically to answer the unique questions your ideal customers have is search engine GOLD. When you start sharing that content across your social media channels, those veins of gold will lead people to your GOLDMINE.
One of the challenges a business owner has is juggling all that is involved in running a successful business. Marketing activities tend to get put to the back burner while fires are handled that are blazing on the front. But when you look at the ROI (RISK OF IGNORING) of content and social marketing, the lack of new business can soon be a front-burner issue.
Google and other search engines want to make sure they are serving up the best, most relevant (and localized when possible) content to the person searching. Making time to create helpful and interesting content is a must in today’s digital world. It is the best and, quite frankly, the most effective form of marketing you can do.
The good news is, it’s no longer a mystery what it will do for your business!
Need a jump start on content planning? We've got a great resource for you! Download this guide to help you identify types of content you can create to start drawing more ideal customers in.